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USDA Announces New Program to Help Rural Utilities

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the new Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP).  RESP is a program aimed at helping rural residents conserve energy and save money on their utility bills.  The RESP will make available $52 million in interest free loans to rural energy providers who fund projects for consumers to make energy efficient improvements in their homes...

EIA Predicts Slow Sales Growth

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecasted slow electricity sales growth over the next 25 years in its latest Annual Energy Outlook.  The EIA predicts that the electricity sales to commercial customers will increase at an average annual rate of 0.7 percent through 2040, while residential sales through 2040 will increase at a rate of only 0.3 percent, despite a projected...

S&P Issues Favorable Report on Coop Credit

On June 7 S&P Global Ratings (S&P) released a report on the electric cooperative sector.  The report generally strikes a positive note, highlighting the “resilience” of electric cooperatives and concluding that even the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will not pose an “imminent threat” to the credit quality of...

USDA Invests More Than $200 Million in Electric Infrastructure Improvements in Five States

The USDA recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Act and announced funding of more than $200 million to build and upgrade rural electric infrastructure in five states.  East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc. will receive a $131.8 million loan to acquire the Bluegrass Generating Facility, a natural gas fired power...

Wind Energy Strong in 2015

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that wind energy accounted for over 41 percent of generating capacity additions in 2015.  Wind energy’s growth was strongest in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and North Dakota.  But resource availability in windy states was not the only driving factor in the growth that 2015 saw, as the federal production tax credit continued to...

Transmission Company GridLiance Adds Two New Board Members

GridLiance Holdco, LP (“GridLiance”), a transmission company that partners with cooperatives and municipal power providers to jointly plan, develop, own and operate transmission assets, has announced that it will appoint two utility industry veterans as new members of its board of directors.  Terry Boston and Michael G. Morris, two former utility executives, will join the board...

Cooperative Finance Corp. Fights for Authorization to Issue Letters of Credit

The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC) continues to seek an exemption under the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Broadband Experiment allowing it to issue letters of credit to its own members and those of an affiliate, Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative.  However, because CFC is not a depository institution, it cannot receive the required FDIC...

USDA Awards $2.3 Billion for Rural Electric Infrastructure Projects

The USDA is awarding $2.3 billion in loans through its USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which makes loans and loan guarantees to cooperative associates and other utilities for electric distribution in rural areas.  Seventy-seven utilities and cooperatives in 31 states will receive loans to build and improve rural electric infrastructure in 31 states.  Funding is contingent...

USDA Awards Rural Development Loans & Grants to Several Coops

The Secretary of Agriculture has just announced $12.5 million in loans and grants to aid rural businesses and create jobs, including over $1 million for electric cooperatives.  Click here  to view a full list of...

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Could Hurt Electric Coops

The Clean Power Plan of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls for existing power plants to slash their greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This reduction could force rural electric cooperatives to prematurely close their coal-fired power plants, creating a multibillion-dollar debt for the nonprofit electricity providers. (Subscription...

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